Life Through The Viewfinder Of A Camera Named John

Beijing Blog 3.5: Share Abroad Meetup Group

So here is my blog post about these friday meetups that I have been attending. The meetup group that I have been participating in these past few fridays is called Share Abroad Life, a fun little get together group started by a Tsinghua University student named Young. 

The group welcomes both Chinese and foreigners alike, to get together once every friday to meet, share stories, experiences, as well as have a couple of drinks together. I really enjoy going to these meetings because it allows me to meet people of all aspects of life, from foreign exchange students attending Beijing universities to Chinese students who just want to learn about life outside of China.

The weekly meetings are held at a small local bar (at Wu Dao Kou) called Vilepana. The atmosphere is nice and relaxing and all attendees are required to buy one drink in order to support the bar for letting us use the space. 

(Above is a photo of the bar area of Vilepana. The menu is written in chalk (all in Chinese), and they also offer a separate paperbound menu that has english names for the drinks and food. Im unable to order off of the chalkboard menu, however I have no problem ordering from the paperbound ones (they also have pictures))

Meetings generally start with new members introducing themselves to the group, and letting everyone know a little about where they are from, why they are in Beijing, etc. Afterwards we break up into separate tables to play board games (such as Jenga or Uno), or to just get into smaller groups and talk. 

I highly recommend checking out this meetup group if you are ever in Beijing. Its great for practicing your Chinese, and meeting new friends while abroad. Many of the members are currently students of Universities in the area, and it is quite a diverse group of people. Check it out for yourself, and meet some new friends next time your abroad. It’s really a lot of fun, and it’s usually the highlight of my week on the ones where I stay home every day doing nothing. :)

Here is the link to the meetup group: Share Abroad Life

Thanks for reading, and enjoy some photos from the last meetup I attended:

Beijing Blog 3: My Fridays

So, I have officially failed to keep up with this blog. In fact I think Im 2 weeks behind already. -_- The truth is I haven’t been doing much these past few weeks and haven’t been to that many places, therefore I kind of lost motivation to share. But all excuses aside, here is Beijing Blog number 3, my attempt to rekindle the fire. (This blog will “probably” be a lot more imagery, and a lot less text in comparison to my previous blog entries. Just a heads up!)

Lately I have been trying to find places to go, and things to do. However with my lack of Chinese Character reading abilities it has become really hard for me to go anywhere by myself (especially since I cant really drive around here.) I, like most other Beijing-ers depend heavily on public transportation, and the problem that I often face is a twofold.

We currently live very far away from the city so it takes a pretty long bus ride to get anywhere, and there are currently no subway stations built around this area so I would have to take a bus to some place that has a subway station, and than take the subway if I want to go anywhere that’s a bit further. One problem with this is that the busses make their last run everyday around 11pm-ish, so I would often have to leave a little earlier to avoid missing the last bus home. Another problem is that the bus signs are a lot older than the subway ones, so they only have stops written in Chinese characters and a little bit of Pin-yin. 

My solution to this is to plan out my trip ahead of time and write both the names of the stops, as well as the bus numbers down before heading out. This really limits the amount of places I can go and I depend HEAVILY on my phone, making sure that it’s fully charged before heading anywhere. So far I am only able to go to two places by myself without getting lost. One of the places is Yi He Yuan park (or also known as Summer Palace), and another is to this meetup group that I have been going to every friday (I will write another entry on this meetup group in a following post).

So last friday (2 days ago) I headed out to my meetup group meeting a little earlier to explore the area. It is located in a pretty populated city area called Wu Dao Kou, and so I decided to spend the day walking around that area with my camera and seeing what I could capture around there.


(Above is a photo of the main building area where my meetup group is held.)

The streets around that area are very high traffic so crossing the street is always a challenge (and a risk) for me. I find myself following the crowds and even though there are stop lights and walk signals, people tend to go at their own pace and precaution (thats both cars, and walkers, actually bikers as well.) 


(Above is a photo of people lined up waiting to cross one of the wider streets in the area. Most people wait for the walk signal but the brave ones just walk as if there was no sign.)


(Above is a photo of another wide street where someone is crossing at a red light. Everyone seems to go whenever they want and there doesn’t seem to be any type of enforcement.) image

(Above is a photo of a cute old lady with a little dog in the front basket of her bike.)


(Above is a photo of a giant gold Buddah that I noticed while walking past this establishment. Im not sure if it was a restaurant  or a bar or something but that Buddah is pretty impressive!)

Something weird that I noticed in Beijing is that people dont really seem to care about the way something looks as long as it’s usable. Either that or maybe some people just have very different taste in what “look’s good”. One of the strangest things that I have seen so far is an grown man in a business outfit driving an all pink car with Hello Kitty interiors…. I was so surprised that I forgot to take a picture of it sadly.

image(Above is a photo of a cheetah print motor bike that I would consider a little on the strange, but perhaps it’s high fashion? Im not too sure. The Hello Kitty Sticker in the front is a nice touch though.)

Back to the story. While walking around the area I visited Tsinghua University one of the more prestigious colleges in China. The campus was very beautiful, however my uncle told me that it was a large campus and that I had probably only visited a small portion of it (maybe next time Ill walk around the campus a little more and make another blog post about it.)

image(Above is a photo of one of the gates to Tsinghua University. People are posing and taking pictures by the sign.)


(Above is a photo of people biking on campus.)


(Above is one of the main buildings directly facing the entrance. In the center is a decent sized Chinese flag floating in front of the building.)


(Above is a photo of one of the streets inside the campus. The crosswalk reminded me of the Beatle’s album cover.)


(Above is a photo of a giant building with movie posters printed large and displayed in front of it. I wasn’t sure if this building was a movie theatre on campus, or a giant auditorium but the architecture looked amazing.)

Tsinghua seemed like a very calm and relaxing campus. It was fenced out on every side unlike Oregon State’s campus which was open on all sides and connected to the town. This provided an interesting contrast between the calm campus, and the surrounding businesses and city life. 

After visiting the campus I headed towards the meetup building to check out the stores around that area. There were a lot of business buildings along the way there, a lot of technology related companies as well. Potential future employers of Tsinghua students maybe?




 (Above are some photos of buildings around the area all very tall, and all very fancy looking.)

image(Above is a photo of a train that passed by the area. There were a few train stops around the area, something thats not too common in other parts of Beijing it seemed.)

image(Above is a photo of the TusPark area’s sign. This is the building complex where my meetup group gathers.)

Finally I arrived in the area, but I was a bit early so I decided to walk around the building some more. This buildings in TusPark had such beautiful architecture, and the area was filled with business people.

image(Above is a photo of a broadcasting van for what looked like the Chinese version of the show “The Voice”. I wasn’t sure if they were recording somewhere nearby or if there was a TV station building in the area.)

I fell in love with the architecture of the TusPark area, and got a little artsy with my shots. I will end this blog post with some photos of the buildings. Sorry this wasn’t a very interesting or thought provoking post, but it’s just a update on my life and what has been going on (not much). Again thank you for making it this far and reading the post! (I guess there was a lot of text in this post as well :\ sorry!)


Beijing Blog 2.5: Chinese Idol At Nan Luo Gu Xiang Street

I felt like my last post was a bit long so I left this part out in order to put it in it’s own separate post. This post should be relatively short, but while I was at Nan Luo Gu Xiang street I got to see the recording to a portion of Chinese Idol. The only reason I could tell that it was Chinese Idol was because of a plaque (clicker board type thing) that one of the assistants were holding. I wasn’t sure if the lady being filmed was famous, or is soon to be famous but she seemed like she could be someone with a bit of prestige.

Here are some photos that I took:

(Above is a photo of the assistant holding up the Chinese Idol plaque.)

(Above is a closer look at the plaque.)

(Above is a photo of the Idol,  again Im not sure who she is :.)

(Above is a closer look at the Idol.)

(Above is yet another shot of the Idol.)

(Above is a photo of the guy behind the main camera, and his assistant pre-focusing for him. For the gear nerds out there: He was recording with a 5d Mk III, a Sigma 70-200mm 2.8 OS, on top of a what looked to be Weifeng Fluid Head Tripod WF717? with a wireless receiver of some kind on the hot-shoe mount probably connected to a portable lav microphone on the Idol.)

They were recording her walking through the street and did a whole lot of takes of it. Im not sure how many takes they ended up doing but we didn’t stay too long to see. It was cool to see a real crew out in the fields working, seemed like a lot of fun and it’s crazy to think that they were recording a portion of a tv production with only a DSLR. Professional technology is becoming more and more accessible to consumers, slowly bridging the gap between the two.

Beijing Blog 2: Visiting Nan Luo Gu Xiang Street and Hou Hai


As promised, here is Beijing blog number 2. This entry will be about my trip to Nan Luo Gu Xiang Street and eventually Hou Hai. Both these areas are very touristy, aimed towards foreigners and the younger generation of girls, and young couples.

The first of the two places (Nan Luo Gu Xiang Street) is essentially a little neighborhood looking street filled with small shops, boutiques, bars, and hole in the wall food areas. This place like many other places in Beijing is filled with people but more specifically this area is occupied mainly by 3 types of people: foreigners, younger girls, and a lot of couples (this trip really made me miss my girlfriend back home!)

(Below are some photos of items that were sold in the little shops around the area. Like everywhere else in Beijing, these shops didn’t allow photography inside, so I either sneaked the photos or took pictures of the displays from outside the shop windows.) imageimageimageimageimage(Apparently the little ghost looking things are very popular right now because I saw them in almost every toy shop in that area.)


(These little animal ear clips and headbands seemed to be very popular as well. There were a lot of girls wearing them around. I guess the anime kids in America aren’t as weird as I previously thought,I guess they are just trendy.)


(A lot of couples in china like to wear matching shirts and pants etc, but I noticed that this couple took it to a whole-nother level by matching shoes… with tails… so I had to be a creeper and get a photo of it haha. A little tacky for my taste but its pretty cute.)

Apart from shops that sell little toys there were a whole lot of in-the-wall food places, restaurants, and cart food. You definitely have a lot of choice when it comes to eats in this area. 

image(Above is a photo of a Beard Papa stand, this is a international branch originally started in Japan however I recognize it from back home in Oregon. What I found interesting about this place was that the menu looked completely different from the menu back home, I didn’t recognize one single item on the menu and I dont think they even have cream puffs which is what the chain is known for :. But perhaps I didn’t notice it on the menu because my Chinese reading skills are not up to par. Theres no english menu in a lot of these small food shops so it’s a bit hard to gage what’s available.)

image(Above is a photo of a stand called Tama Yaki. This place I haven’t heard much about, however I have seen it around some other areas in Beijing which leads me to believe that this is a chain of some sort. I didnt pay too much attention to what was offered here but it seemed like they offer Teriyaki and other types of asian foods (Im not entirely sure). Judging by the cute faces and typography I am guessing that this place is targeted more towards younger kids, and girls? I will have to try it sometime and write an in depth review of this place.)

image(Above is an example of many of the hole-in-the-wall food stands offered at Nan Luo Gu Xiang. This one in particular specifically sells lamb kabobs and not much else. These types of traditional food stands look a lot less sanitary than many of the other food places offered around this area however they look to be the more authentic in comparison to the newer (better) looking places that offer just the same things. As you can see behind the stand there seems be someone’s residential place. This is because back before they turned this little street into a commercial area people actually lived in these narrow pathways called Hou-Tong. Some of these Hu-Tongs are preserved in the area, but more on that a little later.)

image(Above is a photo of a sit down bar type of restaurant called Burgers & Hotdogs? Pretty bad name in my opinion, but places like these seemed to be more targeted towards foreigners. They often offer less traditional foods, and a variety of alcoholic beverages. As you can see on the sign this place offers Mojitos and Rum&Coke as well as Uno Fries (One Fries??? Jk). 

My mom and I decided to get our lunch from a more traditional hole-in-the-wall place. Although not the most sanitary looking place in the world, it did look relatively clean compared to most of the other traditional food places available. Most importantly this place offered one of my all time favorite Chinese traditional street foods called Jian Bing. 

image(Above is a photo of the “restaurant” which was just a little hole in the wall with a kitchen inside and 3-4 workers.)

The Jian Bing is basically a large crepe with chopped vegetables thrown into the batter. It is folded after applying a variety of sauces, and a crisp dough material.

(Below is a photo of the crepe portion of the Jian Bing being made. The man is using a spatula looking thing to spread the dough and egg into a thin circular sheet.) image

(Below is a photo of the crisp materials that they put into the Jian Bing. This place offered the traditional crisp material (Left) as well as an alternative option called Youtiao (Right) which is basically a delicious fried stick of dough (sounds appetizing I know). But all jokes aside it is pretty bomb. The Youtiao is often sold separately as a breakfast food to go with soups and other types of breakfast food.) image

After buying the Jian Bing we ran into a little bit of a problem. We bought a couple of things around the area and were carrying our cameras, and most of these hole-in-the-wall places didn’t really offer a place to sit down and eat. So we had to find a place to sit down and chow down more comfortably. So where did we go?

imageThats right, we took our cheap street food Jian Bing and went into a nice fancy Starbucks… Haha aint no shame! We bought drinks of course.

image(Above is a photo of the inside of that Starbucks. It was A LOT fancier compared to many of the other restaurants and stores in that area and they even offered Free Wifi! The Wifi sucked though, and it kept kicking my phone off every few minutes :( so sad.)

image(Above is a photo of my mom ordering at the front counter of Starbucks. I got a Tall Carmel Frap but apparently they call it an Extra Coffee Carmel Frap or something. Maybe it was different but it tasted pretty much the same as the Carmel Frap back home. The price was pretty much the same, maybe a little pricier than in the US, but it felt like we were paying for a clean and comfortable environment rather than the coffee itself so it seemed worth it.)


(Above is a photo of my Jian Bing after I took a few bites and realized that I hadn’t taken a picture of it yet. It may not look like the best thing in the world but its pretty close to being the best thing in the world you’ll have to trust me on this one.) 

Starbucks is one of the few places in Beijing that is tailored more specifically towards foreigners. You can tell not only by the good appearance of the place, the high price of the beverages, but also by their bathrooms. Most bathrooms in China are the type that look like a hole in the ground, and you are required to squat down to go in them. Starbucks on the other hand has toilets, the kind that people from foreign countries are used to and love (me included!). You can tell that a place is designed for a specific type of person just by their use of toiletries. Americans are used to having toilets, and Chinese people are used to going to the bathroom squatting so although some places may have the money to put in toilets, they choose to stick with the hole in the ground style of toilet in order to keep their Chinese customers happy. Places like McDonalds and KFC even have these type of squatting toilets. This forces foreigners who are uncomfortable with the idea of squatting and going to seek out places like Starbucks because it is more comfortable to them, thus paying the price for drinks etc. 

(Below is a photo of the Starbucks bathroom with a toilet! Its like one the happiest things in the world to see one of these in Beijing. A clean bathroom with a sit down toilet what more could you ask for!)


After eating lunch we headed back out to explore the rest of Nan Luo Gu Xiang, and walk towards Hou Hai. While walking I noticed that there were a lot of “cool” dessert foods around the area, most of which also appeared in Hou Hai as well.

image(Above is a photo of a guy selling these Tang Ren, shaped into things such as animals, and gourds. Tang Ren is basically a treat that is made of melted sugar which is than blown up and sculpted into different shapes on top of these sticks. Very visually appealing, however these things have been sitting outside all day collecting dust so I probably wouldn’t eat one myself. And he’s selling them inside a Corona container haha. I did see a lot of little kids, and teenage girls eating them though so it seems to be pretty popular.)

image(Above is a photo of a bunch of these little yogurt containers. These simple containers are cups with a paper cover held on with rubber bands. People drink out of them with straws and they are easily refilled by taking the top off and replacing the lid (upon cleaning of course (cleaning not guaranteed))).

image(Above is a photo of one of many stands that sell these GIANT cotton candies. Yes, I know ur drooling right now (you know who you are). These things look awesome and I saw a whole lot of couples sharing them around the area however they are made and left on those sticks sitting out all day. Like the Tang Hulu they are made of sugar, and things stick to sugar so being in a area filled with dust and debris, these wont be the cleanest things that you’ll be consuming.)


(Above is a photo of some not so usual kabobs… On the left they have some type of bug kabob, below that is a array of scorpion kabobs, in the center is a starfish kabob, and to the right of that is a kabob filled with seahorses… I cant say how popular these are in Beijing but I honestly didn’t see anyone at that booth buying these things nor did I see anyone with them walking around.)

While walking towards Hou Hai we got a bit lost and crossed through a few Hutong neighborhoods. These places are really old, and some of these Hutong are preserved quite well. They are populated by more traditional families and a lot of elderly people. I noticed that people who lived in Hutong are the ones who are sitting outside playing majong, cards, talking. This showed that these people are very community oriented, which is nice to see in a culture so reliant on self elevation. Instead of sitting at home playing video games the kids in the Hutong are out playing with each-other. Perhaps the families in these Hutong dont have a lot of money to spend on technology, accessories, and toys but they seem to have everything they need and all seemed to be very happy with their life. Maybe Im just a bit naive, but it really makes me happy to see this. 


(Above is a photo of a group of elderly people sitting outside playing majong in the sun.)

image(Above is a photo of some younger people playing cards outside.)

image(Above is a photo of some kids in school uniforms playing POG! YES POG! I haven’t seen those things since I was young, but I loved those things. I guess Im still young.)

Since the Nan Luo Gu Xiang area gets a lot of tourism traffic I noticed that a lot of the Hutong housing areas had signs on their doors asking for privacy. It must be hard to live in an area for so long, and to have commercialism, and tourism come take over. 

image(Above is a photo of a door inside of Luo Gu Xiang Street with a do not disturb sign on the outside. The same sign can be seen on many doors throughout the area.)

There were also a bunch of these bike carriage tours around the Hutong area that offer to take you around the Hutongs for a bit of money.

(Below is a photo of an array of these bike carriages and their drivers. The drivers would stand around the area and try to convince people to go on these tours.)


After walking a longgg time we finally arrived at Hou Hai. Apparently Nan Luo Gu Xiang Street and Hou Hai are pretty close to each-other  we just happened to have taken a big detour. But it was nice because If we hadn’t I probably wouldn’t have seen the Houtong. 


(Above is a photo of the river that runs through Hou Hai.)

Hou Hai is a beautiful place. There is a river that runs across these two streets filled with bars and clubs. Durring the day it looks like a nice little park with a lot of tourists, but at night it is a nightlife hotspot. The bars all lit up with neon signs, and people pack the rooftop seats to enjoy the view. We didn’t stay till night time this visit however I did get to experience it with some friends the last time I came to China a few years back.

(Below is a photo of one of the many bridges that connect the two roads of Hou Hai. As you can see the streets are filled with bars, most of which have nice looking rooftop balconies.)


(Below is a photo of what it’s like to be on one of the the streets of Hou Hai. I think that its a really beautiful sight nature and commercial all in one.)image

(Below is a photo of some boats on the Hou Hai river. These boats can be rented (I think with a driver) and they go across the river. No real reason in renting one of these just for relaxation purposes I guess.)image

(Below is another photo of a boat on the Hou Hai river with some people riding on it. It almost hit one of the sides so the guy was getting up to the mast of the ship to push it away from the rocks.)


Well that concludes my second Beijing Blog! Again I cant believe you made it to the end @_@ thank you for reading! I hope that this stuff is actually kind of interesting to some people, and Im looking for more things to blog about here in China. Feel free to let me know if you would like to see certain things on my blog or if you would like me to visit a certain area in Beijing just leave a comment on this blog post or click the Aks About Me link on the right side of my page. 

Here are some pictures I took that day that I thought were pretty interesting/funny:

image(Above is a photo of a nightclub called Nuts, and my mom told me that the Chinese writing states something on the line of “its a lifestyle”. Im assuming that its supposed to be Go Nuts, Its a lifestyle but this can be interpreted pretty badly by foreigners like me who cant read Chinese XD)


(Above is a photo of a kid that I saw around Hou Hai. He was stylin with his bike, shades, and most importantly Spongebob Backpack!)


(Above is a photo of a tree that has Chinese theatre masks painted on it. This was outside of a restaurant so Im guessing that it was deco to entice people into going into the place. Pretty sweet paintings though.


(Above is a photo of a Stone Soldier decorated with a bunch of touristy items. This is commercialism at it’s best, something old being taken over by something new in an attempt to gain profit much like Beijings Hutongs. It’s actually quite sad.)


Lastly I leave u with this picture of a little boy looking into the store window. Its actually quite funny. He is staring at the statue of the woman with exposed u know whats, and after I took this photo his parents called him into the store and they asked him “what were u lookin at?” to which he replied “there was big boobs” in an innocent childlike tone in Chinese. The mom bursted out laughing and the dad told him not to say stuff like that. It was pretty cute. 

Beijing Blog 1: Back To Blogging

Hi tumblrers, I know its been a long time but I feel like I should begin blogging my life journey once again, especially now that I am in Beijing China. I am currently in Beijing visiting family and vacationing for about 2 months, so I am looking to blog my adventures at least once per week (hopefully more on the more eventful weeks). 

For my first official Trip To China blog entry I would like to share my experience being back more generally, and talk a little bit about one of the places I visited recently.I left PDX Airport on the April 29th and it is now Officially May 3rd in Beijing and I believe May 2nd in the United States, so I have been here for about 4 days. Within these 4 days I have already visited 2 different places one of which I will be talking about in this entry, and the other one will be in a following entry (just to keep the posts a bit shorter, I have a lot to share). 

As most of you know, China is jam packed wit people which makes transportation just a pain in the A. Public transportation here is what I would imagine to be equivalent to New York’s public transportation (just with more asians (Chinese to be specific)). There are 2 main types of public transportation: busses, or the newly built underground railway system (similar to the max trains in Portland)

image(Above is a photo I took while on one of the busses, people are generally shoulder to shoulder and theres no such thing as personal space anymore haha)

There is usually one or two ticketer’s on the bus that either yell for you to pay for a ticket (or to swipe a prepaid public transportation card), to back away from the doors unless you are getting off, or to give your seat to someone who is elder, someone who has a child, or someone who just needs one more than you (its nice seeing the younger generation being generous and giving their seat up for the elderly I really like that).

image (Above is a photo inside of one of the railway trains, unlike the busses these trains are usually filled with younger generation of people going to work or going to shopping centers. The train is a lot faster than the bus (the bus makes frequent stops) so this appeals more to the younger generation who needs to go from place to place quickly.)


(Above is a photo of what it’s like in the railway station while waiting for a train. Theres no such thing as building regulations, and max capacity here haha and it definitely would not be the place to be in case of an emergency!)

One of the biggest difference between the bus and the railway in China is that the bus is generally populated by every kind of people (younger, older) but usually people from that area, where the railway is usually populated by younger people and foreigners (like me) who need to go further out. The stops of the railway system are generally in city areas or areas of attraction such as monuments and historical areas. Another difference is that the railway is only packed durring certain times of the day (early morning when people head to work, or when people get off work, or weekends) where as the busses are usually packed at all times of the day. 

The first place I visited durring my first week here in Beijing was Xidan Shopping Area. This was basically a giant street filled with malls and department stores. You could literally spend the whole day here and not see every store, but most of the shops sell only clothing which was super boring to me so I saw all that I needed to see in one day.

image(Above is a photo of Xidan Shopping Area, there are bridges that connect the two sides of the busy (and wide) streets, and the bridges usually have escalators that go up, and stairs for either going up or down. I thought the idea of outdoor escalators was pretty cool.)

Apart from big name stores, Xidan also has streets with “sidewalk shops” that sell all types of junk, from backpacks to toys to cds to literally everything. This is a common theme in most of the touristy areas in Beijing.

image(Above is a photo of one of these streets filled with “sidewalk shops”.

One of my favorite to visit in Xidan is filled with this type of junk, it is literally a plaza that hosts a bunch of these sidewalk vendors. I dont quite know the name of the place, but they have the most interesting things, a lot of things that you would see on either ebay or amazon can be found there. 

image(Above is a photo that I took while looking down from an escalator in the plaza. you can see booths that sell anything from makeup, to jewelry  to phone cases, and even small plants.)

Xidan is also known for an underground shopping center called 77th Street Plaza. This is just a giant underground tunnel (or tunnels) filled with these booths that sell random stuff (most of which appeal to the younger generation’s teenagers) Most of the clothing vendors in the plaza are less proper and more street style and colorful (more stylish to today’s standards).image(Above is a photo of one of the many entrances into the underground shopping tunnels.)

(Below are some photos of the random junk that can be bought in and around the Xidan area. Most of the stores prohibit photography, so I had to be very cautious and take pictures of these things secretly (HEHE). But I believe they do this because a lot of their stuff say either Fucci, Fike or FuiFuton (yes I mean they sell a lot of fake stuff and dont want to be caught XD))




imageAnyways this concludes my first (VERY LONG) Beijing Blog. I will be working on putting up my second one (hopefully tomorrow  which will be on a few places that I actually visited today. Id like to be posting these things the day of but Im a little behind and this first blog took a lot out of me, so Ill probably be staying home most of the day tomorrow and I will put out another super long blog. I cant believe that you stayed and read through all of this, congratulations! Look forward to Beijing Blog number 2 coming very soon (hopefully tomorrow). Thanks for reading!

Not A Starving Artist: 50 Reasons not to Date a Photographer


Was inspired to write one of these hehe.

  1. They rather hold their bulky camera, than hold hands with you.
  2. On a romantic date, you’ll watch the sun go down and think “Wow this is gorgeous” and they’ll go “mirror lock, tripod, and stop down f/8 at 1/125.”
  3. You’ll never be able to enjoy tv,…

So relevant/true

Via Not A Starving Artist

Back To School @_@

So I am officially back at school starting a new term. Not a lot has been going on lately especially over winter break, just a lot of hanging out with friends and social events. Most of my classes this term still aren’t going to help me much, since I still havnt switched out of the applied visual arts major. But I am planning on going and talking to the advisor soon (maybe today) to get everything straightened up. There is one class that I am actually really excited for though. That class is Advanced Digital Photography. I am super excited for this class because we will be learning a lot about lighting this term, the specific thing that I am really interested in is studio lighting. I have always wanted to learn about this but it is something that is really hard to learn on my own because I do not have access to such expensive equiptment and lighting setups. I will try to post some of the photos that I take for the class here on tumblr.

I recently created another flickr account under my gmail because I dont really use yahoo for email as much, and so I might end up ditching the older account. My goal for this new one is to have more professional looking work up sort of like a little portfolio. There is not much on there right now but the link to my account is JohnZhangPhotography if you would like to check it out or maybe even follow. 

Also I have been shooting and editing few simple dance videos for my friend Alvin. This was a good chance for me to practice using color correction and syncing up music. Here are the links to the most recent ones, it’s not on my youtube but feel free to check them out and leave him some good comments. (Oh click on the videos to watch in HD on youtube!) XD

Ava’s coffee ages a little different from everywhere else’s :...

Winter Break, Just What I Needed!

It had been a hectic term at OSU taking only 11 credits. I found myself lost not knowing what to do when I had found out that I did not make it into the Graphic Design program, it seemed as if a dream that I had held so close to me faded into thin air. The teachers of the program had told me that they didn’t have time discussing future options with me this term and that I would need to wait until next term started to contact them, so I felt like there was no more options for me. Upon thinking over what had happened. With support from my awesome girlfriend, and parents, I had finally decided that I shouldn’t let this be something that will stop me from achieving a great future. I plan on switching majors, to either New Media Communications, or back into Computer Science. I had given up Graphic Design as a major, but I will not give up on Graphic Design all together! I believe that this is a chance for me to explore a different type of artistic medium, or even a different field of study. This is a big turning point in my life.

In apology: I had been pretty down lately, so I didn’t have a chance to update my tumblr. But now that Winter Break is here, I am back to share all the events in my life. Here are a few photos that I have taken recently. 

These photos were taken at the Red Dress Fashion Show held in the MU Ballroom at Oregon State University. This event was in support of World AIDS Day, in a effort to raise awareness, and introduce ways of preventing the spread of AIDS. More photos from this event on my Flickr account (just click an image to be directed to it).



Here are some photos from my first few football games. This was a very fun, and new experience for me taking sports photography from the seats. Hopefully one day I can get out onto the sidelines to snap better pictures. I learned a lot experimenting and playing around with settings durring these games. And I will definitely be going to more games in the future to bring you more photos! As usual more from this set in my Flickr account.

Cant Hold Me Down


Anyways thanks for reading, I recently got a new lens (24-70 f2.8 L) so expect more images to be coming to my Flickr account. And I will definitely be having more time on my hands over Winter Break so expect more Tumblr posts as well! I hope everyone is enjoying their break as much as I am!

Messin Around With Type

This Is What I Do When I Take A Break From Black Ops :D

To Tumblr, Love Metalab